Where Are They Now: Iconic Actors from Classic Buddy Cop Movies
Legends one and all. But what are they up to these days?
There have been some great buddy cop movies over the years. Some of those who starred as part of an iconic crime-fighting partnership were household names before they landed the role, while for others it launched their careers.
Let's take a look at six of the best buddy cop movie partnerships and find out what the actors who brought them to life are up to now:
1. Lethal Weapon (Mel Gibson and Danny Glover)
Arguably the defining movie of the genre. Buddy cop flicks usually featured partnerships between two cops who couldn't stand the sight of each other. And these two were about as far apart in every respect as two colleagues could be.
Since his Lethal Weapon days, Mel Gibson has played a number of roles, including Hamlet and William Wallace. He's also branched out into directing and has a number of films in the pipeline. Away from the silver screen, he's been at the centre of a number of controversies.
While still working on TV and the big screen, Glover has become just as well known as an activist. He's spoken out on issues ranging from the Iraq war to racial equality in America, and is respected for his philanthropy.
2. 48 Hrs. (Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte)
While he's better known for Beverly Hills Cop, this was the movie that launched Eddie Murphy's career. As a convict helping a cop (Nolte) track down some dangerous men in just two days, he exuded the energy we now associate with him.
Also a singer and comedian, Murphy reprised his role as Prince Akeem Joffer for Coming 2 America in 2021 and will return as Axel Foley in next year's Beverly Hills Cop sequel.
Known as a bad boy throughout his acting career Nolte put in a stellar performance as Jack Cates. He's still going and in recent years has featured in The Mandalorian and Poker Face.
3. Running Scared (Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines)
Gritty and humorous, Running Scared saw Crystal and Hines play two Chicago cops who had to go undercover to bring a drug lord to justice. They didn't quite fit the buddy cop trope, which made for an interesting take on the genre.
Crystal has appeared on stage in recent years and is currently the voice of Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc. He hasn't been seen on the big screen since 2021, but is still active and could make a return.
Hines starred in more than 40 movies and had several theatre roles. He was also one of the finest tap dancers of all time. He died of liver cancer in 2003 and was the voice of Big Bill in the cartoon Little Bill right up until his death.
4. Last Adventure Hero (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Austin O'Brien)
Not your classic buddy cop film, Last Adventure Hero had a sci-fi twist that saw Danny (O'Brien) transported into a fictional world to help his hero, played by Schwarzenegger, fight crime. It wasn't the most iconic of Arnie's roles, but came at a time when he'd given up taking himself seriously in any way.
Schwarzenegger went on to serve as Governor of California from 2003 – 2011. Since then, he's returned to acting. He starred in The Expendables movies and featured in the Netflix series Fubar in 2023.
O'Brien hasn't had an acting career to match some of the other names on this list but he's still working in the film industry and has acting and producing credits.
5. Bad Boys (Will Smith and Martin Lawrence)
These two had great chemistry and arguably redefined the genre. The cool, stylish Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Miles Burnett (Lawrence) were best friends who had taken slightly different paths in their personal lives but were experienced Miami cops.
Will Smith has had several projects since, but his most famous moment in recent years was when he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars in 2022. After losing out on some big roles following the incident, Smith has been an executive producer on Bel-Air since 2022 and is signed up for the next instalment of Bad Boys.
Lawrence is also returning to the franchise for the upcoming movie. Away from Bad Boys, he's probably best known for his roles in the Big Momma movies. He's also starred in a variety of films across all genres. His most recent movie was the supernatural thriller Mindcage.
6. Tango and Cash (Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone)
These two disliked each other but were forced to work together after a murder accusation. As you'd expect from a late 80s film, there were plenty of special effects and some decent pieces of dialogue.
From a famous Hollywood family, Russell is still going strong and has a role in the upcoming TV show Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.
Stallone is predominantly a producer these days. In 2023, he gave in to the reality TV bug and now features in The Family Stallone.